(Supplied electron micrograph shows the new pneumonia-causing coronavirus)[Photo courtesy of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases]

SAPPORO - A man in his 70s has died in Hokkaido, northern Japan, after being infected with the new coronavirus, the local government said Sunday, bringing the domestic death toll to 12.

The Japanese national, who had no record of overseas travel, died Saturday after developing a fever and pneumonia on Feb. 23 while hospitalized and testing positive for the virus two days later, according to the Hokkaido regional government.

The northern main island of Hokkaido, which recently declared a state of emergency, has the largest number of coronavirus cases in the country. At least 72 infections have been confirmed in the region.

When making the declaration on Friday, Hokkaido Gov. Naomichi Suzuki requested that people refrain from going outside over the weekend.

Around 950 infections have been confirmed in Japan, including more than 700 people who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship that had been quarantined near Tokyo.

Of the 12 deaths in the country, six were related to the cruise ship.

Health minister Katsunobu Kato said at a press conference on Sunday that all passengers and crew members had disembarked from the vessel, which carried about 3,700 from 56 countries and regions when it arrived in Yokohama on Feb. 3.

(Naomichi Suzuki)

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